Tie Summer

August 19, 2016

As will become obvious as 100D100T makes its way back into the world, I’m no longer wearing a tie every day. I see them every day, as there are about 400 that stare at me from my closet as I leave my bedroom.  


Pick me! Pick me!

You may recognize some of these from years ago. Many have been–gasp!–worn again. But, there was a newer tie that was selected for a Wednesday meeting that deserved a little dressing up. 

how you doin?

A nice little lime green with blue, white and black thrown on there. Does a body good. 

We have some TV Guys With Ties, too. Pardon The Interruption’s Tony Kornheiser looking pretty summery…

…but I wish the tie had interrupted a little more. 

And here is Laurence Fishburne, looking very un-FBI in Hannibal…


You pick the blue tie, your story ends…


There will be some great ties from Hannibal Lecter…Mads Mikkelsen is an amazing specimen. 

Thanks for reading…Brooke


Stop…Hammer Ti(m)e

August 15, 2016

I love my one-hit wonders almost as much as Seth Rogen. 

NOT the subject matter

No, we mention Hammer because my next #TVtieguy is the new manager of Chelsea Football Club, AnTonIo ContE. The mighty Blues of West London took on West Ham of (well, isn’t it obvious?) East London, and rode a late Diego Costa strike to win their first match of the season, 2-1. Whilst celebrating, Signore Conte wanted to show you his perfect black tie.  

That suit is probably left over from his stint leading the Italian national team. Classy yet elegant. Perfect for standing there brooding or jumping around like you just got a puppy for Christmas. #notracksuitshere

Going to be a fun season. Oh, and I’ll be wearing a tie myself this week. Maybe two. Giddy up. 

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Can’t spell “Footie” without T-I-E

August 13, 2016

Well, that title is pretty obvious, and I probably used it before. Shock Barclays Premier League champions Leicester City were, well, shocked by recently promoted Hull City, 2-1. #HCvsLC One gorgeous goal and one perfect cleanup strike trumps a PK. You could say that Leicester were Leicestered. #sogoaheadsayit

Leading our enjoyment at the breaks were Robbie Earle & Robbie Mustoe, aka The 2 Robbies (@The2RobbiesNBC) on NBC Sports Network (although, for historical accuracy, I should say that the matches today can be found on CNBC, likely due to the bribes proffered by the then-wealthy Brazilian government to the International Olympic Committee). 

While today was rather muted, it was quite blue in tone, perhaps in honor of Leicester, who find themselves in last place two hours into the new campaign. 

Let’s start with Robbie, version 1.Mustoe.  

You’re hired, kid!

 It’s much better than many of his ensembles from last year. Still, it’s kind of first-job-interview-after-college-y. I’ll save the #dressinthedark hashtag for wintertime, while remaining hopeful that the return of reigning fashion champion Kyle Martino will keep @robbiemustoe trending up-table. 

Heading mid-desk, Robbie Earle has commandeered new Belgium manager Roberto Martinez’s favorite look from this summer’s Euro coverage. 

A mustache-ready look

 This richly textured blue suit (#whyweloveHD) would help any tie pop, and the Earl of Earle shows that he will be up for a fight in this year’s best TV Tie. 

Keep coming back to 100 Days, 100 Ties this season. I’ll have my ties, Mai Tais, political ties, sports ties, friends’ ties…plus I’ll be giving away 100 (#atleast) of them, hopefully with your help.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Can’t spell “Interview” without T-I-E

July 18, 2013

Although this really isn’t a problem this year, it’s never good juju to mention the words “Cubs” and “playoffs” in the same sentence. Unless, of course, the rather vulgar phrase “no fucking way in hell” is involved in a rather meaningful way.

[Cue: peaceful music entwined with nature sounds]


Collar stays, Uncle Lou…collar stays!

Back before the Mike Quade era, when Sweet Lou Piniella took Chicago’s National League participant to back-to-back playoffs, fans actually got excited about the day-to-day happenings in the standings. Conversations between Cubites were careful to avoid the jinx, which would allegedly occur if one mused about a playoff appearance or–the horror–even advancing during stated appearance. Knocking on wood didn’t help, as they were feebly swept aside by the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, maybe or maybe not in that order. It’s just too painful to google it.

I, too, am going to avoid the jinx here today. I had a second interview for a great new job today, and I’m not going to mention where it was. See, maybe the jinx minx is susceptible to reverse psychology, and the job is mine! Well, at least it was a second interview; getting bonked after just one would be tantamount to a sweep, don’t you think?

Here are the two gorgeous ties that I sported this week. They are both from my newest favorite Californian, Hendrik. He owns Bows ‘N Ties, as well as Cheap Neckties, two amazing online purveyors of great ties. Hendrik had found my TieXchange website, and had inquired about its activeness. Being a great guy, he gave me a shopping spree on his sites. 


These beauties are from his Puccini label. I went in left-right order, in terms of my interviews. It’s a lock, wouldn’t you say? Believe me, there is nothing cheap about these ties…the fabric is stunning, the quality is very evident, and they tie really well. If you have ever tied a truly cheap tie, with its lame–or non-existent–lining, the lack of structure and staying-power is pretty defeating. However, these ties made a great knot, and really stuck around up at my collar. Check them out, if you get a chance.

I’ll let you know how everything turned out, once the statute of limitations on the jinx has ended.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

I cannot tell a tie…redux

October 16, 2012

Deadlines are good. Great actually. This may end up being my worst blog (yep, still hate the word), but it’ll feeeeeel good. Damn right I put 6 Es in there.

I’m scared to check my last post, but I’m sure it’ll soon be simple enough to see the date. I think it was May. I have worn ties since then, and have taken pictures of all of them. No more hefty haughty promises about writing them all up. I am sure that I have forgotten where/why I wore them. Although…that could be a fun game for any readers I have left: if they can guess if my story is true or bullshit. Or both.

My travels for Few Spirits took me to our nation’s capital, where I attended a gala dinner out at Mt. Vernon, George and Martha Washington’s estate. The dinner was sponsored by several different lobbying organizations; our affiliation with the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States got us invited. The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, thankfully, has an acronym: DISCUS. Or is it an anagram? No, it’s definitely an acronym. Anyway, they avoided being called DISCotUS, which would be too trendy. I would have gone with one that called to mind dancing with cheesy records: DISCOTECA (Distilled Spirits Council of the Entire Country, America).

ImageThe gala was a blast, and it was exciting to meet folks from other distilleries. Good thing I brought along a couple of ties to choose from. I ended up going with another swell looker from Paul Fredrick. I knew DC would be a professional tie-wearing town, and it didn’t disappoint. More than a Few bow ties in attendance (harder to spill booze on ’em, don’t-cha-know). I can only assume that my Freddy did me proud.


Let George Do It!

As for Mt. Vernon? Serene. Idyllic. Iconic. All that and more. I met the Ghost of the Father of our Country, or GOTFOOC. Actually, he was probably just a Hired Actor Portraying the Father of our Country (HAPTFOOC).

Thanks for deadlining. And thanks for reading.


I know you’re knot, but what am tie?

March 22, 2012

Are y’all ready for this? [insert techno/dance/sports arena music. loudly]

It’s time to get back on the 100D100T horse. I know you’re probably saying that you’ve probably heard this before, probably even from me. But, I’m serious!

All sorts of stuff going on in Tieland. Chris and I are trying to get TieXchange.com out there, for all to enjoy. All of you who wish to wear ties, that is.

This Tie du Jour is going to be of the grab-bag variety. I’m just going to go into my folder and grab the first tie that grabs me. In fact, I can even start to describe it, without seeing it.

This TdJ is much longer than it is wide, on a scale of almost 20-to-1! It can – and has – been manipulated into some sort of fashionable knot, at the picture subject’s (me) neck (my neck). The color is probably not puke green, nor puke brown, nor even puke blue (long story). It has a tag, and pointy ends.

The winning tie is…[drumroll please]

It’s a! It’s a! It’s a Paul Fredrick! No surprise there, since it’s the brand of which I have the most, thanks to their generosity. They will be a big part of TieXchange, as they have donated 30 ties to our inventory. And that’s not to mention the 10 ties that they gave me a couple of years ago, just because they liked my blog. I have bought a bunch of them, too, from their website as well as from various thrift stores. I think this is my 14th PF tie on 100D100T.

This particular tie, besides its obvious dimensional prerequisites, is a lovely medallion design of blue, brown and gold. This particular photo, however, takes us back to the days of the crapiPhone camera. Sigh.

I have a Guy With Tie here, who’s even a GWT alum, if memory serves. John Noyes is a fun friend of mine here in Evanston. He’s with 1st Advantage Mortgage, and he’s the founder of the Evanston Real Estate Trolley. John chaperones a dozen or two people on a monthly tour of Sunday open houses in Evanston. It’s a great idea that will catch on…

Thanks for reading…Brooke


Happy Valentie’s Day

February 14, 2012

Well, I’m actually writing about today’s Tie du Jour, since my subject was named by Julia. It’s kind of obvious, but I’d not thought about it. Good to know that part of my wacko brain has been passed on for the next generation.

This magnanimous celebration of pink was created by Izod; or, more likely, an Izod buyer claimed 100 just like it at a clothing mart and had 100 Izod tags attached to it. The pink really called out to folks today, as it garnered a few compliments. I don’t think it’ll make TieXchange level, as it has a small pull in the tip.

It’s from the PKos collection, aka the ties of the late, great Paul Kostuik. Paul was not only the father of my friend Paula, but also a very good friend of my parents. Paul’s widow, Donna, sent a box of spectacular strips to Paula for her to give to me. They are worn proudly as I salute the Kostuiks.

Thanks for reading…Brooke



January 29, 2012

It is time. Time to reason with myself. I’m not going to write a full blog post for all of the ties that I’ve tossed into the procrastination bin. It’s time to catch up, and knock a bunch out.

This will be a lightning round, a TdJ marathon and a necktiepalooza all rolled into one. And I won’t forget all the Guys With Ties, and Girls With Ties, who made it fun along the way.

Ready, steady, go.

I start out, rather fittingly, with this tagless striped strip. I am pretty sure I got it from my friend Paul Giddings’ collection. I’m also pretty sure that Paul never put it with a plaid shirt. Hmm, not sure this works…good thing I can’t wear this tie again.

I get a little bit better (not everyone would agree) with Lightning Rounder #2…this Enrico Rossini paisley tie has a nice orange/brown tinge (not everyone would think that sounds great), and matches up nicely with my shirt’s stripes (not everyone uses parentheses three times in a paragraph).

By the way, it’s probably not possible for you, dear reader, to notice, but my tie-wearing ensembles have been a bit less formal lately. I’m only wearing suits about 10% of the time that I wear ties, which is a pretty polar opposite of my time at the Evanston Chamber. My Few Spirits, TieXchange and State Farm duties have been a bit more casual, and it’s never good to find myself in a suit when something needs to be lifted at the distillery.

After all that blahblah about not wearing suits so much, this next TdJ-shirt ensemble was actually sported with one. It’s another great tie, made with more beautiful fabric, by my friends at Paul Fredrick. This will definitely be a TieXchange tie, very soon…where it will join 40 other Paul Fredricks.

Next is a spectacular blue from Hugo Boss. It was given to me by a spectacular woman, my girlfriend, Andrea. I wore this tie with her, and she sparkled as much as it did that night.

We enter into the much-less-sparkling-and-spectacular arena with the next one, a vintage wool tie under Italian designer Gino Pompeii’s Nik-Nik line.

Aaaaand, back to the silk with this brown and blue striped number from Jones New York. While it would be somewhat muted on a plain white shirt, I decided to doll it up with this aquamarine shirt.

Well, I’m up to 6 here. First time I’ve gone with more than 1, if memory serves. Feeling a bit crowded, but…Onward and sevenward?

We stick with our pattern of new tie/vintage tie (a nice way of saying TieXchange-worthy/non-TieXchange-worthy) with yet another brown tie. This is from Huntley’s, which was a men’s store in Evanston until the 70s or 80s.

And here I come to my first Guy With Tie, who, it turns out, is actually a BWT (Brother With Tie). My younger brother, Grant, who has made an appearance as a BWT before. He lives in Denver with his wife, Mo.

Forging on to Nos. 8-10 (which puts us in the 339 ties realm), let’s make this a lightning round of the lightning round…

Some Fruit Stripe stripes from Kenneth Cole…my not-so-crapIphone camera went back to crapi on this one. It’s a lot less muted in real life.

And this next tie is pretty funny. From a designer called Linnea Franco, I picked it up at a resale shop, probably Unique Thrift Store. But, I didn’t really check the length when I bought it. So, when I put it on, it only came down  between my bellybutton and my medulla oblongata. Wait, that’s not right, that’s in the brain. Sternum? It’s the sternum! Dang brain. Anyway, the tie was obviously built for a child, or Peter Dinklage. Soooo, I threw a sweater over it. Silly me for not taking the pic in its infinite shortitude. Wimp.

Okay, now the lightning round will come to a close with another Hugo Boss effort. Bright red with little squares. Aaaand, I’m done with knocking out these 10. But, I guess there weren’t so many GWTs, but there will be some in the next few days. Promise.

Thanks for reading…Brooke






RIP Rusty Cavataio

January 20, 2012

Well, I see that I could have taken that subject field in a couple different ways. RIP Rus-tie Cavataio, or RIP Rusty Cava-tie-o. Either of those would have been pretty basal. Way too common for perhaps my favorite coach.

Over the years, I have liked most of my coaches. In fact, I can’t think of a bad one. Oh, wait, there’s one. Ah. And another. No matter, this isn’t about them, the not-so-great coaches. Some of my coaches were my PE teachers. Since I played soccer (British eq.: football), I’ve definitely had the most of that flavor. But, I’ve had football coaches, baseball coaches, basketball coaches, cheerleading coaches (oh yes he di-id), swimming coaches, a tennis coach and probably a golf coach for a lesson or two.

Many of these coaches were with me for longer than a season, being teachers at my various schools. The one that stands out for me was rather a flash in the pan, at least to me. Coach Rusty Cavataio was in his first year at Christian Brothers High School, and he took over the JV baseball team. He made our team so much fun that we became almost unbeatable. Well, that’s an untrue statement, since we lost our first game, to a varsity team. We only lost 1 more game all season, going something like 23 & 2. I think we said it was an exhibition, but, really, aren’t all JV games exhibitions?

Anyway, as a side note, I’ll take you to the bottom of the 7th (the last inning) of that first game. We were getting crushed. 14-zip. I get tabbed to go pinch-hit to lead off and start our rally. First pitch, I swing. I’m so far from hitting it, it’s a joke. Second pitch, a curve ball that doesn’t curve. I somehow remember to duck the beanball attempt. Somehow it calms me, and I give a little butt-shake. Third pitch, I hit the holy living shit out of the ball to left field. We weren’t playing on a field with a wall, but it would have gone over any wall in baseball. I could have run around twice, it rolled so far. 14-1, and in my high school baseball career, I’m 1-for-1 with a dinger. Should’ve retired. Glad I didn’t.

And, thus concludes the glory days portion of today’s 100D100T. Back to Stump, which is what we called the 5’6″ (being generous) Coach Cavataio. Coach was so great to all of us, cussin’ and teasin’…it really was the most fun team I’ve ever been on. After Coach’s obit was posted on Facebook, a couple of other ball players mentioned his famous drill. We had to hold a small rectangular piece of wood in our glove hand, and he would screech grounders to us on a parking lot. We had to learn to field with our other hand, too, pinching the ball with both hands and our ‘mitt.’ We weren’t able to stop until the whole team cleanly fielded grounders all in a row. Amazing team builder. I really am surprised one of us didn’t go out and play an inning with one of those boards in our hand. We…our team…would have done that for Coach. I’d have loved to have told him how much I’ve thought of that drill over the years. When I go back later this fall for my 25th high school reunion, I’m sure there will be many stories told about that season.

Anyway, my Tie du Jour is bedecked in CBHS  purple and gold (we are the purple wave). Although I’m thinking Coach abhorred wearing ties (he seemed much more comfortable in those BIKE coaching shorts), he may have given in to these colors. Rest in Peace, Coach Cavataio…Godspeed.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Too little, tie late

January 16, 2012

‘Twas a bad, bad week for football in the state of Louisiana. And ’twas a bad, bad week for the so-called lucky tie effect. The state of Louisiana, consisting mostly of Saints and Bayou Bengal fans, mourneth.

Last year, I waited too long to wear my New Orleans Saints tie, as they lost in their first playoff game. Once again, I forgot to wear it leading up to their wild card game last week against the Detroit Lions. They came through and gave me a chance to wear it again, but to little avail. I sported my NFL Shop Saints tie, given to me a couple of birthdays ago by my parents. It features a menagerie of Saints memorabilia, in the genre of oh-wow-grandpa-paints?-I-guess-we-should-buy-it. The Fleurs de Lis are cool. This will likely not make it to TieXchange, unless I get an inordinate number of Louisiana members.

I have spoken before about my preference for the half-windsor knot; it gives a symmetry, and some size, without getting too sizey. But, I think we have found the quadruple-windsor, here. I’ll stick with football for a bit longer, with ESPN’s Merrill Hoge and his HU-MAWN-GOUS knot. He could be hiding his lunch in there.

Thanks for reading…Brooke